Johann van Graan has been able to field a strong Munster side to face Racing 92 in Paris on Sunday, much stronger than some expected at the beginning of the week. 

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When the damaging news emerged for both Ireland and the province that Joey Carbery will miss the Six Nations with a wrist injury, there was widespread panic among many Munster’s supporters.

Fellow fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal has been ruled out for the last while with a neck injury, while a question mark hung over JJ Hanrahan after he missed last weekend’s loss at Ulster with a hamstring injury.

That left centre Rory Scannell and 20-year-old Ben Healy as the two remaining options to start at the Parisian giants in a pivotal Champions Cup clash. 

Fortunately, Hanrahan has now been passed fit and is part of an XV that Racing should find tough to beat, even though Munster are stretched somewhat on a bench that could herald European debuts for backs Craig Casey and centre Shane Daly. 

(Continue reading below…)

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With no substitute out-half in the squad, Hanrahan may be required to play a full 80 minutes – and there are obviously questions over whether he will have the fitness to do so. 

However, Scannell could move in from inside centre if an injury did occur to his team-mate and with two centres on the bench, there is cover if such an emergency occurred. 

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With both Munster and Saracens battling for a quarter-final berth behind leaders Racing, few points can afford to be dropped in the final two rounds. 

Saracens travel to strugglers Ospreys on Saturday and should they win, even more pressure will be heaped on Munster in the French capital. 

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